[ RadSafe ] RE: 15000 units of Po210

welch at jlab.org welch at jlab.org
Wed Dec 20 06:57:57 CST 2006

I haven't seen the ones for stereos, but they do make hand-held brushes
used in photography for cleaning film, and there are industrial-type units
used in manufacturing.

> Keith,
> Almost makes you feel sorry for those unfortunate murderers who've wasted
> all that money on bullets and knives when they could have just pulled a
> few
> static eliminator brushes off convenient stereos and gone on a killing
> spree.  I found 1960 and 1980 models of "eliminators" on the internet --
> are
> they still available, or gone with the turntable?
> Ed Hiserodt
> -----Original Message-----
> From: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl [mailto:radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl] On
> Behalf
> Of Keith Welch
> Sent: Tuesday, December 19, 2006 10:10 AM
> To: radsafe at radlab.nl
> Subject: [ RadSafe ] RE: 15000 units of Po210
> Ten million dollars?  Sheeesh.  Looks like United Nuclear is part of the
> problem.  That info on their website is just bogus.  You can buy 500 uCi
> (I seem to remember a consensus that a few millicuries is lethal) static
> eliminator sources for 20 bucks (online, with a credit card and no
> license).  And that news report is even more flaky.  What a bunch of
> hogwash.  Sounds like some rag-mag trying to fan the flame of a
> conspiracy theory.  Fact is anybody with a credit card can buy enough Po
> to kill someone with, and could likely produce the poison by simple
> mechanical means (it wouldn't take a chemist or physicist).  Yes, they'd
> get pretty contaminated doing it, and they'd waste a lot of the Po, and
> it might not be in the most efficient form to be absorbed, but hey, it's
> cheap, just buy ten times more than you need.  Basic precautions would
> keep them from  killing themselves in the process.  My guess is
> somewhere, someone's got a really crapped-up basement - but not for too
> long.
> Keith Welch
>> Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2006 09:23:45 -0500
>> From: Cindy Bloom <radbloom at comcast.net>
>> Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Po-210: What is a unit?
>> To: <radsafe at radlab.nl>
>> Message-ID: < at mail.comcast.net>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"; format=flowed
>> The United Nuclear's website supports Jim's conjecture.
>> http://www.unitednuclear.com/isotopes.htm
>> Cindy
>> At 09:01 AM 12/19/2006 -0500, Jim Hardeman wrote:
>>> >Ivor --
>>> >
>>> >Just guessing, but I would think that "unit" in this context means the
>>> >amount of material present in one of the sources that United Nuclear
>>> >offers for sale for $69 ... sort of like counting how many smoke
> detectors
>>> >you would need to make an RDD. If I remember correctly, the United
> Nuclear
>>> >sources are distributed in the US as exempt items ... meaning that
>>> each
>>> >one (from memory) would contain ~0.1 microcurie or less of Po-210.
>>> >
>>> >Jim Hardeman
>>> >Jim_Hardeman at dnr.state.ga.us
>>> >
>>>>>> > >>> Ivor Surveyor <isurveyor at vianet.net.au> 12/18/2006 18:29 >>>
>>> >The following report is from the
>>> >AUSTRALIAN.    Can somebody please explain what
>>> >is meant by a "unit of radioactivity," as quoted in the article.
>>> >
>>> >Russian spy's fatal dose of poison cost $13m
>>> >Correspondents in London
>>> >19dec06
>>> >
>>> >BRITISH police believe the radioactive substance
>>> >used to kill former Russian spy Alexander
>>> >Litvinenko cost more than $US10 million ($13 million).
>>> >
>>> >According to The Times, preliminary results from
>>> >the post-mortem examination on Litvinenko's body
>>> >have shown he was given more than 10 times the
>>> >lethal dose of polonium-210, large quantities of
>>> >which were found in his urine.
>>> >
>>> >"Only a state-sponsored organisation could obtain
>>> >such a large amount of polonium-210 without
>>> >raising suspicion on the international market,"
>>> >said Alexander Goldfarb, a friend of Litvinenko.
>>> >
>>> >United Nuclear Scientific Supplies, based in New
>>> >Mexico - one of the few companies allowed to sell
>>> >polonium-210 over the internet - said it would
>>> >take at least 15,000 units of the isotope to kill someone.
>>> >
>>> >With each unit costing $US69, it would have cost
>>> >more than $US10 million to deliver Litvinenko's fatal dose.
>>> >
>>> >"You can't buy this much off the internet or
>>> >steal it from a laboratory without raising an
>>> >alarm, so the only two plausible explanations for
>>> >the source are that it was obtained from a
>>> >nuclear reactor or very well-connected
>>> >black-market smugglers," an unidentified British security source said.
>>> >
>>> >British detectives working on the case in Moscow
>>> >were due to return to Britain this week.
>>> >
>>> >Security sources said Russian officials refused
>>> >to ask questions of Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitri
>>> >Kovtun - both of whom met Litvinenko on the day
>>> >he fell ill - that British detectives wanted
>>> >answered. They had not complained publicly
>>> >because of the importance of the case to
>>> >diplomatic relations between Britain and Russia.
>>> >
>>> >High-ranking Kremlin officials have mocked
>>> >Litvinenko's boasts, after he defected to
>>> >Britain, about his role in their security services.
>>> >
>>> >Minister of Defence Sergei Ivanov claimed that
>>> >Litvinenko, far from being a top KGB spy as he
>>> >liked to claim, was merely a prison guard.
>>> >
>>> >Mr Ivanov said Litvinenko had never had access to
>>> >secret or important information and was "of such
>>> >poor character" he was dismissed from the Russian
>>> >security agency when it was being run by Vladimir Putin.
>>> >
>>> >"He was never a spy and never knew anything of
>>> >any real value to give to any (foreign
>>> >intelligence) service," Mr Ivanov said. "He was
>>> >just a Russian who meant nothing to us."
>>> >
>>> >Referring to the letter in which Litvinenko
>>> >accused the Kremlin of poisoning him, Mr Ivanov
>>> >said:"We didn't care what he said and what he wrote on his deathbed."
>>> >
>>> >Kremlin officials again described the accusations
>>> >of Russian involvement made by Litvinenko and his friends as
>>> ludicrous.
>>> >
>>> >Valentin Velichko, a colonel who is president of
>>> >Honour and Dignity, a powerful group of KGB
>>> >veterans, dismissed Litvinenko as "a nonentity".
>>> >
>>> >He said in an interview with the Rossiiskaya
>>> >Gazeta newspaper that Litvinenko was never a
>>> >target for Russian intelligence because he was
>>> >not important enough to bother with.
> _______________________________________________
> You are currently subscribed to the RadSafe mailing list
> Before posting a message to RadSafe be sure to have read and understood
> the
> RadSafe rules. These can be found at:
> http://radlab.nl/radsafe/radsaferules.html
> For information on how to subscribe or unsubscribe and other settings
> visit:
> http://radlab.nl/radsafe/

More information about the RadSafe mailing list